These companies are scooping up downtown office space in the middle of a pandemic. We asked them why


Amazon Canada

The person: Nicole Foster, director of web services and Canada public policy
Joined the company
: 2018. “I just celebrated my three-year ama-versary (that’s what we call anniversaries here).”
New office sites: 120 Bremner Blvd. and 18 York St., with a third location at 40 King St. W.
Square footage: 500,000
Staff: 1,600

Her favourite thing about working downtown: The buzz of the city centre. Before the pandemic, I commuted to Union Station. I’d step out of the train, and I was immediately surrounded by energy and activity.
Her downtown prediction: People are eager to get back to the office and have face-to-face interaction. It’s hard to collaborate and mentor young people remotely.
Her thoughts on the future of work: The pandemic has demonstrated the opportunity for more flexibility. Some people have set desks, others have pods for single-day use. Plus, when we’re back in the office, I expect things to look and feel different. Right now, when we access the office, we have Covid screenings and temperature checks.
Office set-up: We work in open, hotel-style spaces. We also have new-age booths where you can take calls and plug in your laptop.
Coolest office perk: We have vending machines stocked with headsets, keyboards and cool gadgets you can get by swiping your badge.
Office uniform: Jeans and a blazer, or a dress with boots and a blazer. I ditched all my suits when I joined the company.